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Arjun Singh Softens Stand on Quota But says Reservation Irrevocable

New Delhi: Human Resource Minister Arjun Singh said that the government will try to do a balancing act however the proposed quota remains irrevocable.//

Arjun Singh said in the parliament "There is no question of going back on what we have proposed. What we can try to do is make efforts to not to create any more tensions and come out with a balanced solution."

Meanwhile there were widespread protests in the country on the issue of reservations and now the IIT’s are also planning to join the protests. The anti-reservation sentiment has engulfed many states and medical students have resorted to various unique ways of protesting. In some cities they have taken out candle light processions, in other cities they have walked with broomsticks in their hand. In Patna they burnt the effigy of Arjun Singh and in Bhopal the students tonsured their heads to protest against the issue.

The health service in hospitals has remained crippled in the capital New Delhi. Protests by doctors have also affected many hospitals in cities like – Calcutta, Mumbai, Bhopal, Ahembdabad, Bangalore and Ludhiana. Some dental colleges in the country have also joined the protests.

Some TV Channel feel that this is ‘The Rang De Basanti’ affect on the students. This seems somewhat far fetched. Although the young minds are always impressionable but the medicos of the country are made up of sterner stuff and are an intellectual class of students.

Striking medicos are trying to help the suffering patients by running parallel out patients in the open, however the crowd is too big to handle. Meanwhile the Health Minister who himself is a doctor is unmindful of the demands and has warned the striking doctors that their services maybe terminated if they do not soon return to work.

The Health Minister said: "We are very clear that we are trying to work on this. I don't know what more assurances the ministers could give, more than this. The doctors should take note of this; they should not cause such a huge problem for the patients. I mean the patient's lives are at stake. ’ He added that they were taking the government to ransom.

"We have issued notices to doctors, I mean senior residents and junior residents if they don't join back we may have to replace them," he further added.

Bharatiya Janata Party has meanwhile asked for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to intervene to resolve the issue.

"Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has still not spoken to the students which is wrong. He should speak to them and take out a solution keeping in mind the merit and demands of the students," said Vijay Kumar Malhotra of BJP.

If the reservation issue goes through the parliament it will ensure that nearly half the seats in top educational institutes of the country would be reserved for the country's traditionally underprivileged groups – such as backward classes and scheduled castes..

The current protests have also highlighted various issues including how it is easy to obtain fake certificates and declare oneself as backward class. One gentleman has been exposing government staff who obtained their job on such false certificates.

The biggest worry of the striking medicos is that the reservation will result in limited seats for the post-graduate admissions. As such the competition for these courses is fierce in the country.
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